About 300 workers employed by the Cross River State government as part of the COVID-19 relief staff have protested the non-payment of three months’ salary arrears.
The protesting workers are part of the 8,000 workers engaged by the state government in a much-publicized COVID-19 palliative measure aimed at reducing the impact of the crisis on the people.
The workers who protested at the headquarters of the Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture to air their displeasure with the state government said they worked at the state’s rice farm and can no longer bear the burden of working every day without pay
Speaking to newsmen, one of the protesters who craved anonymity for fear of victimization said they can no longer bear the burden of working without being paid particularly now they are harvesting the rice which they planted three months ago.
She said “we are one of the people that were working in the Cross River State rice farm during that time and about 8,000 of us resumed work in May 4, this year but the initial plan was for 8, 000 people.
“When they called us we went there but because of the situation of the farm, some people abandoned their work and so about 390 of us were left.
“We worked and they paid us salary on the 6th of June but they did not pay everybody because they left that day when the governor personally came to the farm to pay.
“The next day we resumed work and the farm manager said they gave him information that we should go and rest for two weeks and we will receive a call to come back.
“After three weeks about 50 of us got text messages to come back and since that July till now we have not been paid and we are almost finishing the harvest of the rice”, she said.
She said they decided to protest to draw the attention of the government to their plight.
No official of the ministry addressed the protesting workers as at the time of filing the report and the workers vowed to continue the protest until their needs are met.